Female Film Directors

Throughout history, there have been many women directors who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female directors such as Natalie Portman, Elizabeth Banks, Jodie Foster, Lucy Liu, Kathy Bates.The women directors featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia and many more countries.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Female Film Directors

 1 Bryce Dallas Howard

Bryce Dallas Howard
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 2, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Bryce Dallas Howard is an American actress and filmmaker, who attained fame after starring in the psychological thriller, The Village. Some of her other notable films are Lady in the Water, As You Like, Spiderman 3, Terminator Salvation, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. She is the daughter of famous and celebrated director and producer, Ron Howard.

 2 Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow
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Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: November 27, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Carlos, California, United States

 3 Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Best known for playing real-life black women in biopics, Angela Bassett does not mind being typecast as someone who often plays biographical roles. She has portrayed prominent personalities like Tina Turner, Betty Shabazz, Katherine Jackson, and Coretta Scott King. Also a director, producer, and activist, Angela Bassett works toward bettering the lives of African-Americans.

 4 Natasha Lyonne

Natasha Lyonne
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 4, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Best known as Nicky Nichols from Orange Is the New Black and Nadia Vulvokov from Russian Doll, Emmy-nominated actor Natasha Lyonne began her career at age 6, with Pee-wee's Playhouse. Fans loved her as Jessica in the teen-comedy franchise American Pie. Natasha has struggled with legal issues and heroin addiction.

 5 Regina King

Regina King
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 15, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Regina King was first noticed when she appeared in the series 227 and then gained fame with her role in Jerry Maguire. Her performance as Sharon Rivers in If Beale Street Could Talk won her both the Academy and the Golden Globe awards for Best Supporting Actress.

 6 Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen
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Famous As: Actress who played mutant Jean Grey in the X-Men film franchise and played Xenia in GoldenEye
Birthdate: November 5, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Amstelveen, Netherlands

Famke Janssen is a Dutch actress best known for playing important roles in popular Hollywood films like the X-Men film series and the Taken film trilogy. A former fashion model, Janssen achieved international recognition when she played Bond girl Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye. Over the course of her acting career, Famke Janssen has recieved several awards, including the Saturn Award.

 7 Anjelica Huston

Anjelica Huston
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 8, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

Born to actor-director John Huston and ballerina Enrica Soma, Anjelica Huston was no stranger to the world of entertainment as a child. Initially a model, she later became full-time actor and won an Academy Award for her role in Prizzi's Honor. She later became a regular in Wes Anderson’s films.

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 8 Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 31, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

American actress, Kerry Washington, attained fame when she starred in the television series, Scandal, which ran from 2012 to 2018. She was also commended for her role in the television film, Confirmation, and for the miniseries, Little Fires Everywhere. She has also acted in films like The Last King of Scotland, Django Unchained, Our Song, The Dead Girl and American Son.

 9 Sara Gilbert

Sara Gilbert
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 29, 1975
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

Sara Gilbert is an American actress and filmmaker. She is credited with creating the popular CBS talk show The Talk. Since she is openly lesbian, Sara Gilbert serves as an inspiration to the LGBT community; she came out in July 2010 while preparing to launch The Talk.

 10 Asia Argento

Asia Argento
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 20, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Asia Argento, daughter of filmmaker Dario Argento, has starred in movies such as XXX, Traveling Companion, and Transylvania. She declared that Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, while she was herself accused of assaulting Jimmy Bennett. She was dating Anthony Bourdain at the time of his death.

 11 Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Melissa Gilbert is an actress and politician. She played an important and influential role in the American film and TV industry while serving as the president of the Screen Actors Guild between 2001 and 2005. Also a writer, Melissa Gilbert has published an autobiography, cookbook, and short story for children.

 12 Troian Bellisario

Troian Bellisario
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Troian Bellisario is best known for her Teen Choice Award-winning performance as Spencer Hastings in Pretty Little Liars. She was also appreciated for her role as Amanda in the film Consent, which earned her a Vision Fest Award, and for her performance in the WIGS web series Lauren.

 13 Melissa Fumero

Melissa Fumero
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 19, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: North Bergen, New Jersey, United States
Melissa Fumero is best known as Adriana Cramer from One Life to Live and Amy Santiago from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, winning an NHMC Impact Award for creating a “positive” image for Latinos, for the latter. She has also appeared in minor roles in All My Children, Gossip Girl, and CSI: NY.

 14 Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola
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Famous As: Director
Birthdate: May 14, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

The daughter of the popular filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola followed in her father's footsteps to become a screenwriter and filmmaker. Sofia became only the second woman to win the Best Director award in the history of Cannes Film Festival when she won the award at the 2017 Festival.

 15 Kyra Sedgwick

Kyra Sedgwick
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Kyra Sedgwick is a popular American filmmaker and actress. Such is her popularity as a TV actress that Kyra Sedgwick started earning around US$300,000 per episode in 2007. Among many other prestigious awards, such as an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award, she has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

 16 Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
Died: December 17, 2018

 17 Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy
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Famous As: Actress & Singer
Birthdate: June 26, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States

An American actress, singer, songwriter, filmmaker, writer, and YouTuber, Jennette McCurdy is truly an inspiration to several young girls and women; despite suffering from conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, and bulimia, McCurdy has managed to establish herself as a successful entertainer. As a writer, she has contributed immensely to publications like The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Seventeen.

 18 Lea Thompson

Lea Thompson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 31, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Initially a ballerina, Lea Thompson later deviated to acting, after being told she didn’t have the perfect body to pursue ballet. She then modeled for Burger King and eventually bagged a role in Jaws 3-D. She later gained fame with Caroline in the City and the Back to the Future trilogy.

 19 Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 17, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Active in Hollywood for over two decades, actress Sasha Alexander began her career in theater. Soon, she moved on to TV and appeared in a few shows before gaining popularity. She has also acted in many short films and feature films and is the winner of one People's Choice Award. One interesting fact about her is that she is multilingual.

 20 Mélanie Laurent

Mélanie Laurent
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 21, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France

French actor Mélanie Laurent shot to fame with her Étoiles d'Or-winning role in Dikkenek and her César Award-winning performance in Don't Worry, I'm Fine. She made her Hollywood debut with Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, and was also seen in Now You See Me. She has also released a music album.

 21 Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 4, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
Known as an “it girl,” Greta Gerwig has been a major part of mumblecore films and has been seen in many of Joe Swanberg’s and Noah Baumbach’s films. Named to TIME 100, she has also earned Academy Award nominations for her directorial work in Lady Bird and Little Women

 22 Bonnie Wright

Bonnie Wright
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 17, 1991
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom

Bonnie Wright is an English actress, filmmaker, screenwriter, and activist. She is best known for portraying Ginny Weasley in the popular Harry Potter movie series. Over the years, Wright has been playing a key role in raising awareness about plastic pollution. She also serves as an ambassador for an international non-governmental charity called Lumos.

 23 Lake Bell

Lake Bell
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Lake Bell is an American actress, screenwriter, and director. Also known for her good looks and fashion sense, Bell has been featured on lists like Femme Fatales' 50 Sexiest Women, Maxim's Hot 100, and British Vogue's 10 Best Dressed Women. Apart from being an actress and model, Bell also contributes as an automotive writer and editor to The Hollywood Reporter.

 24 Lisa Niemi

Lisa Niemi
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Famous As: Actress, Director
Birthdate: May 26, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Lisa Niemi is known for her appearance in Steel Dawn and One Last Dance, with her former husband Patrick Swayze. She also released memoirs, both New York Times bestsellers and one of them co-written by Swayze. Swayze’s death due to pancreatic cancer led her to spread awareness about the ailment.

 25 Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 28, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Best known as Molly Brown from Titanic, Annie Wilkes from Misery, and Ethel Darling from American Horror Story, two-time Emmy-winner Kathy Bates also has an Academy Award in her kitty. She has survived ovarian cancer and breast cancer and is now a prominent advocate for lymphatic disease awareness. 

 26 Mädchen Amick

Mädchen Amick
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sparks, Nevada, United States

Mädchen Amick is an American actress known for playing important roles in popular TV series like Twin Peaks and Witches of East End. Amick's portrayal of Shelly Johnson in Twin Peaks contributed immensely to the success of the series, which eventually attained a cult status; in 2018, a musician named Tobias paid homage to the series in her music video.

 27 Melissa Hart

Melissa Hart
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Famous As: Actress known for Roles on The Television Shows 'Clarissa Explains It All' and 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch'
Birthdate: April 18, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Smithtown, New York, United States
Melissa Joan Hart became a teen icon with her performances as Clarissa Darling in the Nickelodeon series Clarissa Explains It All and as Sabrina Spellman in the 1990s’ sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Fans also loved her as Mel in Melissa & Joey. She also co-owns a fashion line.

 28 Pamela Adlon

Pamela Adlon
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 29 Whitney Cummings

Whitney Cummings
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Georgetown, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

 30 Emily Mortimer

Emily Mortimer
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 6, 1971
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

Emily Mortimer is an English-American screenwriter and actress. Mortimer, who started her acting career in stage productions, went on to establish herself as a bankable actress in the British film and TV industry. In 2010, she became an American citizen and has since been playing important roles in American films.

 31 Alexandra Hedison

Alexandra Hedison
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Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: July 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Alexandra Hedison is a renowned photographer and has exhibited her creations at numerous galleries, throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has also appeared in the series The L Word and Nash Bridges. Openly lesbian, she has dated Ellen DeGeneres in the past and is now married to Jodie Foster.

 32 Samantha Morton

Samantha Morton
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Samantha Morton’s journey from growing up in foster care to becoming a Golden Globe-winning actor is truly inspirational. Apart from her appearances in independent films, mostly dramas with dark themes, she is also known for her BAFTA-winning directorial debut, The Unloved. Fans have loved her in Longford and In America.

 33 Nina Hartley

Nina Hartley
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 11, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, USA

 34 Soleil Moon Frye

Soleil Moon Frye
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Famous As: Actress, Director
Birthdate: August 6, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glendora, California, United States
Soleil Moon Frye started as a child actor, with the series Punky Brewster. She also gained fame as Sabrina Spellman’s friend Roxie in the series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She later voiced characters for series such as The Proud Family. She has also authored books and owns a children’s boutique.

 35 Daniela Ruah

Daniela Ruah
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 2, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Portuguese-American actress, Daniela Rua,h is best known for her role in the TV series, NCIS: Los Angeles. She began acting as a teenager and went on to study performing arts at the London Metropolitan University. She then trained at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute before commencing her professional career. She works in both Portuguese and American films.

 36 Sophie Hunter

Sophie Hunter
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Famous As: Theatre Director
Birthdate: March 16, 1978
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London

Sophie Hunter is an English playwright, opera director, and former performer. She is credited with co-founding and popularizing a theatre company called Boileroom, which was honored with the Samuel Theatre Trust Award in 2007 for its play The Terrific Electric, which marked Sophie Hunter's directorial debut.

 37 Chloe Zhao

Chloe Zhao
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Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: March 31, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao is best known for directing films such as Songs My Brothers Taught Me and The Rider, both of which earned Independent Spirit Award nominations. Her film Nomadland won her the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. She is also directing the Marvel film Eternals.

 38 Sosie Bacon

Sosie Bacon
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 15, 1992
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: United States
Sosie Bacon is best known as Skye Miller from Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and as Charlie Johnson from The Closer. She is the daughter of actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. She played 10-year-old Emily Stoll in her debut film, Loverboy. Sosie was declared Miss Golden Globe in 2014. 

 39 Camilla Belle

Camilla Belle
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 2, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Camilla Belle is best known for her roles in The Lost World, The Patriot, When a Stranger Calls, and 10,000 BC. She has earned multiple Young Artist Award nominations, including those for the film Practical Magic and the series Walker, Texas Ranger. She is known to have dated Joe Jonas.

 40 Clea DuVall

Clea DuVall
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 25, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 41 Amy Jo Johnson

Amy Jo Johnson
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dennis, Massachusetts, United States

Amy Jo Johnson is an American-Canadian filmmaker, actress, singer, and songwriter. Over the years, Johnson has been honored at several important film festivals including Long Island Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. A multi-talented personality, Amy Jo Johnson has also directed a couple of films like Tammy's Always Dying and The Space Between.

 42 Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Producer, Director
Birthdate: May 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron was an American writer, filmmaker, and journalist. She is known for writing films like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally... The Nora Ephron Prize was created by the Tribeca Film Festival in her memory. Her life and work inspired the 2016 documentary film Everything Is Copy, which was directed by her son Jacob Bernstein.

 43 Debbie Allen

Debbie Allen
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Debbie Allen is an actress, dancer, choreographer, and singer-songwriter.  She appeared in the musical-drama TV series Fame and also worked as the series’ principal choreographer. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including three Emmy Awards. She runs the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles and is a former member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. 

 44 Diane Ladd

Diane Ladd
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 29, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Meridian, Mississippi, United States

Diane Ladd is an American actress, author, and filmmaker. Over the years, Diane Ladd has contributed immensely to the success of several films and TV series. Perhaps, her greatest contribution to Hollywood is guiding and mentoring her daughter and Academy Award-winning actress Laura Dern. Both Ladd and Dern received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress for the film Rambling Rose

 45 Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay
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Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: August 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States

 46 Alison Eastwood

Alison Eastwood
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 22, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

Actress, director, and producer, Alison Eastwood, is the daughter of actor Clint Eastwood. Growing up in close proximity to Hollywood, she began getting acting offers at an early age. She took up a few projects as a child and decided to pursue acting professionally as a young woman. She also runs her own business and a non-profit animal welfare organization. 

 47 Karen Gillan

Karen Gillan
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 28, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Inverness, Scotland

Karen Gillan is one of the most popular and successful actresses from Scotland. She is best known for playing Nebula and Ruby Roundhouse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and Jumanji film series respectively. Also a filmmaker, she wrote and directed The Party's Just Beginning, apart from acting in the film. She is also a philanthropist.

 48 Ilana Glazer

Ilana Glazer
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Famous As: Actress Best Know for Her Comedy Central 'Series Broad City'
Birthdate: April 12, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States
Ilana Glazer gained fame with her appearance on the Comedy Central show Broad City, as Ilana Wexler. She was part of the 2017 movie Rough Night and launched her stand-up comedy special The Planet Is Burning in 2020. She is openly queer and is married to computational biologist David Rooklin.

 49 Tosca Musk

Tosca Musk
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Famous As: Filmmaker
Birthdate: July 20, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: South Africa

South African filmmaker, Tosca Musk, has produced and directed several TV programs, films, and web series. Beginning her career in the early 2000s, she teamed up with Jeff Macpherson to produce the web series, Tiki Bar TV. Her movie, Simple Things, received the California Independent Film Festival Slate Award. She is also the founder of the streaming service Passionflix.

 50 Victoria Wood

Victoria Wood
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Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Prestwich, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, England, UK
Died: April 20, 2016

Multi-talented English comedian, Victoria Wood was also an actress, lyricist, singer, composer, pianist, screenwriter, producer, and director. Wood started her career with the TV show That's Life! and established herself as one of Britain's greatest stand-up comedians. She wrote sketches, dramas, and popular sitcoms and her self-deprecating humor got her 14 BAFTA nominations of which she won four.